In Vino Veritas

Surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea and its cooling breezes, Italy is a sun-filled garden where grapes thrive and wine is a way of life. The country is closing in on France as the number one wine-producing country in the world. More than 3,000 wines are crafted in Italy, and during Passport Italy we are featuring 150 of the country’s most prestigious labels in our stores, along with over 40 of Italy’s most talented winemakers.

When you begin to mention Italian wines, a lot of people's first thought is of Chianti. It is a true Italian classic, produced in the Chianti region of Central Tuscany, and we have the perfect ambassador for this Italian staple: Brolio Chianti, produced at the oldest family-owned winery in the world. Brolio was established in 1141 and has been owned by the Ricasoli family for the last 32 generations. This wine is designated as a Chianti Classico and is young with a full complex structure; its taste profile includes cherries, blueberries, and hints of licorice.  A can't-miss during Passport Italy.

If you need more than my recommendation on a bottle to take home, then make sure you stop in and meet some of the 40 winemakers making visits to all nine stores across the state:

Luca Bosio of Luca Bosio Vineyards is the third generation to work the land, in the Piedmont region, bought by his grandparents in 1967. Meet Lucio at Austin North Lamar, Dallas Lovers Lane, Fort Worth, and San Antonio.

Stefano Chiarlo oversees the cultivation of 110 hectares at Michele Chiarlo Vineyards. Meet Stefano in our Plano store.

Umberto Cosmo directs the Bellenda estate, located in the Veneto wine region of Italy, known for producing Prosecco and sparkling wines. Pop open a bottle with Umberto at our Austin Westgate, Dallas Lovers Lane and Preston Royal, Fort Worth, Plano, San Antonio, and Southlake stores.

Cantine Riondo winemaker Fabrizio Fichera discusses the creation of Pianello wines produced in the storied Veneto region at Austin North Lamar and Westgate, Dallas Lovers Lane and Preston Royal, Fort Worth, Houston, Plano, and Southlake stores.

There are also a slew of cooking school events that will elevate your taste buds to the heights of the Italian hillside. Check your Cooking School calendar to find out more.

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